Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Divided Again

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states: red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. … Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

--Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention, 7.27.04

I won. I will trump you on that.

--President Obama to Republican congressional leaders, 1.24.09

There was a misunderstanding of the kind of change people wanted. Democrats wanted policy change. Independents and Republicans wanted to change the way business was done in Washington, and that really hasn't happened.

--Howard Dean, ex-Democratic Party chairman, 11.1.10

[M]ajorities are loaned the power every two years. Voters now reassess every two years. You’re not going to get [the majority] for 40 years.

--Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), 11.3.10

Democrats are still very much alive. The Democratic ruling class is still on top. But the Republican 60+ seat reclaiming of “the People’s Chamber,” as well as winning 6 more Senate seats and at least 7 statehouses including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin (while holding Florida), represents a sharp shift away from full Democratic control. America is back to the divided rule that has prevailed for all but 12 of the 44 years since Nixon’s first election (exceptions: 1976-80, 1992-94, 2002-06, 2008-10). Divided rule, 73% of the time. It’s the new normal.

Republican-friendly pollster Scott Rasmussen rightly cautions the GOP that “voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008: They are voting against the party in power.” Obama’s the third president in a row to hold then lose the House, what Rasmussen calls “a fundamental rejection” of “a bipartisan political elite that's lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve.” His polls show voters see Democrats as the party of big government and Republicans as the party of big business, with nobody representing the people. Folks want “hope and change,” but think if they have to rely on politicians for change, there’s “no hope.”

Rasmussen himself believes “voters don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center.” They want Washington to understand the people “want to govern themselves.”

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